effective training · Train the Trainer

How Can You Tell if Training is Effective Enough to be Worth It?

Leaders: Have you wondered what kind of information to ask of your instructors, Learning and Development Professionals or Human Resources after training? Read to the end and then you decide which of these 5  training effectiveness reports you would prefer.

A large manufacturing company assigned an internal expert to conduct Train the Trainer certification courses for 24 prospective internal instructors with the plan that they would spend a portion of their time as trainers in the subjects in which they are highly competent. The instructor is to report on the effectiveness of the class after 3 months.

Which report would get the most favorable attention from upper management?

After the class the Train the Trainer course instructor submits the following report:

Potential Report  1:

“It was my pleasure to teach the students Train the Trainer techniques! They were a very lively bunch and seemed to enjoy themselves. They rated the class at 4.5 on a 5 point scale overall. All 24 students indicated they plan to conduct training for others in the next few months, and that this class helped them to feel prepared.

Potential Report  2:

“It was my pleasure to teach the students Train the Trainer techniques!

1. They were a very lively bunch and seemed to enjoy themselves. They rated the class at 4.5 on a 5 point scale overall. In addition, all students in both classes participated in all activities, including forming their training plan based on the course content.

2. I reviewed each plan throughout the day, the students were corrected and coached the most on forming SMART objectives, and planning activities to evaluate the attainment of training objectives. Each student left the class with an effective training plan.

Potential Report  3:

“It was my pleasure to teach the students Train the Trainer techniques!

1. Satisfaction: Students rated the class at 4.5 on a 5 point scale overall.

2. Learning: In addition, each student left the class with an effective training plan, reviewed and approved by their instructor, proving they had met the objectives of the class.

3.  Use of learning in the job: By the deadline, (3 weeks post class) 14 students (60%) had executed their training plan and turned in student feedback sheets. The student feedback sheets indicated their new instructors had used the structure taught them, including:

a. Establishing credibility

b. Expressing expectations for students in the form of SMART objectives

c. Effectively demonstrating the task or topic

d. Using creative training techniques to let students apply concepts

e. Evaluating skills and knowledge

Potential Report  4:

It was my pleasure to teach the students Train the Trainer techniques! The following impacts as a results of the class were measured:

1. Satisfaction. Students had a high level of satisfaction about the class: Overall rating was 4.5 on a 5 point scale. Key comments were misgivings about being assigned as a trainer due to work load and preference (three students).

2. Learning. Each of the 24 left with an effective training plan, reviewed and approved by their instructor, proving they had met the objectives of the class.

3. Use of Learning. By the deadline, (3 weeks post class) 14 students (60%) had executed their training plan, earned their certification and were assigned to various training projects.

4. Effect on the business. In the next three months, the following reports were collected:

a.Student 1 shortened change-over time through training for three lines, saving an average of 230 minutes per day.

b. Student 4 improved component flow by training others on standard work, reducing late deliveries to the department by 15%.

c. Student 11 devised a new color based sorting system for waste and trained all workers to use it and monitor its use for errors. Time to sort was reduced by 30%, and overall waste for the plant was reduced by 9%.

d. Student 17 Created a gauge training cart, and left it in each line area for two days for self training and practice, returning for an assessment for each operator. Gauge errors on first piece and periodic monitoring were reduced from 3.1% to 0.4% over 3 months.

Potential Report  5:

It was my pleasure to teach the students Train the Trainer techniques! The following impacts as a results of the class were measured:

1. Satisfaction: Students had a high level of satisfaction about the class: Overall rating was 4.5 on a 5 point scale. Key comments were misgivings about being assigned as a trainer due to work load and preference (three students).

2. Learning. Each of the 24 left with an effective training plan, reviewed and approved by their instructor, proving they had met the objectives of the class.

3. Use of Learning. By the deadline, (3 weeks post class) 14 students (60%) had executed their training plan, earned their certification and were assigned to various training assignments.

4. Effect on the business and financial impact. In the next three months, the following reports were collected:

Student 1 shortened change-over time through training for three lines, saving an average of 230 minutes per day. A financial impact of $170,000 per year.

Student 4 improved component flow by training others on standard work, reducing late deliveries to the department by 15%. A financial impact of $87,000 per year.

Student 11 devised a new color based sorting system for waste and trained all operators to use it and monitor its use for errors. Time to sort was reduced by 30%, and overall waste for the plant was reduced by 9%. A financial impact of $67,000 per year in reduced recyclable waste mixed with landfill waste.

Student 17 Created a gauge training cart, and left it in each line area for two days for self training and practice, returning for a stringent assessment for each operator. Gauge errors on first piece and periodic monitoring were reduced from 3% to 0.4% over 3 months. A financial impact of 354,000 per year in reduced defects and scrapped lots.

5.    Return on investment

Cost of training: 12,000 for Train the Trainer class costs, salaries of experts and participants.  An additional 21,000 for the time, materials and preparation of the four students who reported gains above. (total 23,000).

Realized gain for 4 students who measured outcomes:  $678,000

678,000-   23,000       divided by:       23,000          =  2,848% return on investment

Barriers:

Several barriers were recorded for students during subsequent interviews after the course and during the execution of training plans.

Students disagreed with the assignment to do training, it was not in their comfort zone or career goals to take on the role alongside their already busy schedule (3 students).

Students found when they returned to the job their priorities had been changed by their direct management (6 students) Another student left the company before executing her plan.

Some students noted a lack of authority over those they were assigned to train, and had difficulty being taken seriously by peers.

Enablers

Students noted the following actions that helped during the execution of training plans.

The award of an internal certification made some students motivated to execute their plans.

The report of their successes with training in their departments gave them pride and motivated others to reduce costs with training

Being invited to leadership meetings to report on the effects of their training class helped students understand they were appreciated, and gave others an interest in joining a future class.

Recommendation:It is your instructor’s recommendation that students are nominated to attend future TTT classes based on high performance and expertise, time in the job to incorporate training others, and having a particular training project in mind when preparing to attend class to maximize return on investment.

Back to the blog:  I challenge you to get a report on training effectiveness that is meaningful and actionable! (Maybe not every time, let’s face it, this takes resources, but at least for the critical, highly visible projects, to prove your effectiveness and to show the work of training and development initiatives!

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